Sir Edmund Hillary, VSA’s founding President, believed passionately that if people work together in equal partnership they can achieve great things.
VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in international development. We bring Kiwis together with our neighbours in the wider Pacific to share their skills and experience, working to transform lives and create a fair future for all.
Since 1962 we have recruited nearly 4,000 New Zealanders. Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, from business mentors and lawyers to doctors and eco-tourism operators, to horticulturalists, brick layers and plumbers.
Our work and partnership approach
VSA knows that we make the most difference by working with people, partners, and communities to create lasting relationships.
We work with our partners to make sure that all our assignments are locally identified, locally relevant, and locally delivered. These partner organisations include regional and central government agencies, local and national NGOs, education and health bodies and individual schools, colleges and health clinics.
Our goal is to transfer skills and knowledge so that the changes achieved during an assignment remain long after a volunteer returns to New Zealand.
We also work with New Zealand and regional partners (such as UNICEF and the Pacific Community (SPC)) to provide innovative volunteering opportunities, making it possible for more New Zealanders to volunteer and contribute to lasting change.
We offer both long (12 months and over) and short-term assignments (including e-volunteering*) and currently work in Melanesia, Polynesia and Timor-Leste.
*A VSA e-volunteer works online from Aotearoa to help create positive change and build capacity in Pacific communities.
Impact of COVID-19
Although we have temporarily put our deployment of in-country volunteers on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties both within New Zealand and across the wider Pacific, we’re continuing to recruit and build our talent pool of prospective volunteers so we can return to supporting our partner organisations and communities in the Pacific and beyond as soon as we can.
We have also expanded our e-volunteering programme and right now we have New Zealanders based in Aotearoa working alongside partner organisations online.
VSA is a registered charity and is non-religious, non-political and non-governmental. VSA needs ongoing financial support to continue to support Kiwi volunteers to share their skills with communities in our region. VSA is supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, together with individual and corporate donations.